Tiny Cheap WiFi Module for IoT Projects (ESP32)

The internet of things (IoT) is becoming a fast growing assortment of interconnected devices. Whether it be bluetooth, radio, or WiFi, these devices need to communicate with each other. This is where the ESP32 comes in.

The ESP32 is a standalone WiFi module which can be used for transmitting or receiving data wirelessly. At just 8$ this is a very cheap way to communicate with devices in your home. I do say cheap as in money, as you might remember my post on Bluetooth where I believe I mentioned WiFi requires more power.

Some ESP32 Specs

The module however only requires 3.3v to run. The low voltage makes it easy to be used with small sensors and other modules. The only problem is the pins to power the module can be somewhat tricky to access.

This board (ESP32-01) contains 2 GPIO pins as well as pins for UART serial communication. The serial communication can be used for flash or reading from the device.

There is also the slightly more expensive ESP8266 development board. This board actually uses the newer ESP32-12. The development board is nice because it contains many more GPIO pins, output power pins, and buttons in order to flash or reset the module.

The ESP32-12 pretty much requires a breakout or development board because of its small close connections. Using either of these modules you can connect access points, be your own access point, and send data to other devices on your network.

With the flash memory on the module itself you can also store a small program. These modules would work great for reading data from a sensor and transmitting a RESTful message to a server. The server would like receive these messages and track the data.

There are also a few languages you can program in for the module. Lua and C++ are common languages used to program for the ESP32.

I can’t wait to see what kind of projects I can create using these. Have a project using these you’d like to share? Comment below!

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